Technology Predictions 'Back to the Future II' Got Right

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In 1989 a movie graced our cinema screens, a movie so great it could be considered better than it's predecessor - just a minute while we duck the flying tomatoes - and this movie was Back to the Future II. The first 30 minutes of the Hollywood masterpiece took place in the year 2015, but did the movie get it right when it came to our modern day tech? 

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Yes and No

While there appears to be a significant absence in smartphones (the mobile phone was just emerging as a necessary gadget in the 80s and was considered a fad by many) the movie did get quite a few things right – although we’re still not quite there when it comes to hover boards. While we count down to Back to the Future Day this year - which of course is taking place on October the 21st, the day Marty was transported forward in time - let's take a look at what technology Back to the Future II predicted would be big. 

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Nike Air Mags

Okay, they're not self tying but they are pretty much exact replicas of the futuristic boots Marty dons in the film. Nike Air Mags are popular shoe designs amongst the fashion trainer types - although there are rumours that Nike are working on the power laces technology as we speak. 

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Futuristic Eye Wear

Okay, Google Glass might not be mainstream just yet but Back to the Future definitely predicted the rise of technology that made us less inclined to socialise with people actually in the room. Microsoft also recently released its Hololens design, which creates personal holograms displayed through the eyewear. Digital content seen through the lenses will appear as real as any objects in the room and will change the way we do wearable tech. However, like Google Glass we'll be waiting a while for this sort of tech to become mainstream as depicted in Back to the Future II. 

In this scene from the film the family are seated round the dinner table, with the kids using glasses that allow them to watch TV and make phone calls. While we are still using smartphones in the year 2015, it could happen someday - the tech is nearly there. 

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3D Movies

If Back to the Future II got something right it would be our love for 3D movies. When Marty first steps out into the town, marvelling at all its futuristic wonders he's confronted with a giant 3D hologram shark (promoting Jaws 19 of course) that simulates eating him. While Marty claims the shark still looks fake we can't deny that in 2015 we're actually pretty obsessed with making every film now with 3D in mind. 

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Wall Mounted Plasma TVs

Wall hanging TVs are a regular occurance throughout Back to the Future II's year 2015 which are used for watching television and video chat. Of course in 2015 we use our handheld devices for Facetime, Skype and iChat regularly so Director Robert Zemeckis's prediction played out quite nicely (did he  have a Delorean or something?)

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Fingerprint Technology

Throughout the film we see the characters use their fingerprints to pay for things  and even open doors. While we're not quite there yet with this tech, it isn't new. Laptops have been using fingerprint technology as early as 2008 and smartphones recently jumped on the fingerprint security bandwagon. Okay, we're not having our retinas scanned everywhere to verify our identity, but Back to the Future II wasn't far off in its predictions for 2015. 

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Hands Free Gaming

When a baby faced Elijah Wood shakes his head disapprovingly at Marty for using a controller to play a video game we realise that Back to the Future II predicted another technological advancement correctly - playing video games without controllers. For example, with Xbox Kinect (a device that's available to the masses) there's no need for a handheld controller, you simply use your body to control the game, which we're guessing is the norm in Back to the Future's 2015. 

So What Are We Missing?

While Back to the Future II got a lot of technology predictions right, we're still missing quite a few fun things in 2015 that haven't been created yet.
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The Hover Board

While company Hendo claims to have created a working hover board it still doesn't look as impressive as the boards ridden in the film - not even when Tony Hawk is having a go on one.  
Image via www.vh1.com
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Re-Hydrated Food

While astronauts have been eating re-hydrated packets of food in space for years and you can buy astronaut food for yourself now, it's not something that's caught on. In Back to the Future II we see Marty's mother pop a tiny pizza in a Black & Decker (of all brands) re-hydrator, which turns the pizza into a full size, steaming hot  one in seconds. Great Scott, it's 2015, why isn't this a thing yet?
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The Double Tie

Marty was really rocking that double tie  in 2015 and we think it's a trend that should be embraced by all - as well as holographic hats.  Although tying them up might be a little cumbersome in the morning, one tie is probably hard work enough. 
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Flying Cars

One of the most lusted after, pieces of tech in the film has to be the flying car after watching Doc jet off in the Delorean (time travel option is optional, we all know how much trouble that can land us in). Apparently flying cars could be going on sale as early as 2017, but lets not hold our breath.  

Something the Filmmakers Couldn't Predict

One of our most used and well loved features of 2015 wasn't thought up by the filmmakers of Back to the Future II though...
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The Internet

In 1989 the Internet had not yet taken over the world, so we understand why it isn't in Back to the Future II but it is probably one of the most stand out features of our current age, compared to what was around in the 80s. 

So this year, while we might not have everything Back to the Future II predicted we would have in 2015 the filmmakers did a pretty good job of predicting and who knows, in the future we could all be jetting around on hover boards or flying around in cars. 
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